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WANTED: GPS for dummies


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I guess Glenn will handle it, right?  So here goes.  Let's start out like we're leaving the dock, I've turned the unit on and it's already located satelites.  Now then, what do you do to:  (1) enter your departure location, (2) enter location you caught a fish, (3) return to the dock?  Multiple waypoints (backtracking to them) lastly.  OK??

Papa  

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Ok, let's start a thread rule for the following questions and answers.  Start out or end your question with what type of GPS unit you are using.  This might help me give better instructions, otherwise I'm giving basic instructions that won't help you on what buttons to push, or what different menus you might see.

In general you mark a waypoint at the dock where you launch the boat.  You can give that waypoint a special name, or use the default name given to the point by your unit.  I give all of mine special names and keep a little log book of the waypoint names with descriptions.  That is much easier than trying to come up with special codes since most units won't let you type in long comments.

Marking locations where you caught fish is the same operation, you're just marking a waypoint.

Most units will map a track of everywhere you go.  It will look like a trace of your path.  In the simplest form, you could just follow that path to get you back to the dock.  Some units have maps loaded to them so you can see the outline of the lake, roads, etc.  Those are better for navigating without the trace of your travels.  If you don't want to just backtrack over your whole course, but would rather go straight to the dock, most units have a "go to" function that will let you select one waypoint that you'd like to go to.  it will then draw a line on your display straight from your location to the point you want to go to.  That doesn't always work since you might be in a cove or around the bend of a river and the line goes as the crow flies...straight over the hill or bend between you and the dock.

Every unit is a little different.  Many have "backtrack" features that will allow you to make a "route" back to a location.  This is accomplished by making temporary waypoints as you travel.  When you want to return, you select the "backtrack" feature and it pulls those temporary waypoints to build a route back to your original location.  Again with this type of route, you will be following your old path back to the dock.

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Papa, I have a Garmin Etrex (the yellow one) that I don't use anymore.  I'll pull it out and maybe I can give some more detailed instructions.  I might even be able to post some screen pics from it that will be helpful.  I'll take a look at it tonight.

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  • BassResource.com Administrator

Start a new thread per question please.  And please use a descriptive subject line in your post so it's easy for others with the same question to find it later.

Thanks!

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OK folks.....got the video for the eTrex.  It removes the mystery.  Guess I'm so old now that pictures work better.  I'll be alright if I do get lost @ nite on Norman.  I mean there's a house every 100 ft after all.  Thanks to posters and this great website. It's now my #1 go-to fishing board.  Papa

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Sounds like Papa is on his way to being a GPS expert now :o  

Since Glenn would like all of our new questions to be new threads, I have an idea.  If you post a new thread with a GPS question, come back to this post and put a new reply with the subect/title of your new thread so we  can all find it.  I know that I usually don't search the board too often, I'd rather be notified by email when one of my posts is active.  This method should keep all of us active with the questions/answers for GPS stuff.

Is this method ok Glenn?

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  • BassResource.com Administrator

That's fine.  I suggest adding a link to the new thread (so it's easy to find) in your post.

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